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The last year brought the rise of several so-called “Ethereum killers” but the most prominent of these has been Solana, a blockchain that promises to deliver the best of Ethereum but faster and at a fraction of the cost. Solana’s spectacular rise, which has seen it vault into the top ten coins, has come from its spiffy technology and also from a certain celebrity pixie dust sprinkled by the likes of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried and others.

But lately, the shine has started to come off Solana as the upstart blockchain has been battered by a series of issues.

The most recent came this week when a hacker exploited a cross-chain bridge called Wormhole, making off with $320 million worth of wrapped Ethereum in the process. A forensic analysis by Paradigm researchers revealed the hack came about due to a flaw in Solana’s interface with Wormhole.

The stolen funds were not exactly chump change, and people blasted Solana for neglecting the security side of Vitalik Buterin’s famous “Blockchain Trilemma.” And they have a point. Solana is in the big leagues now, and hackers should not be able to waltz away with $320 million.

The episode was smoothed thanks to the Chicago investment firm Jump Crypto swooping in and donating enough ETH to offset the stolen funds. Jump’s unexpected gesture helped to calm markets after Solana’s SOL token plunged following the hack, but it also served to highlight another issue with the blockchain: the outsize role of venture capitalists’ involvement with the project.

Few blockchains apart from Bitcoin are as decentralized as they claim to be, but…


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